Only six months after publishing the Galaxy Watch, Samsung is back for a performance with the Galaxy Watch Active2, approaching what was missing. To say the watch is a clone of the more advanced model would not be an underestimate—at least from the outside.
Samsung did not mess with the overall form part, preferring to maintain it, as is, while continuing some key pieces to the puzzle under the hood.
In effect, it is a watch made for an active user, but it is also modern enough to be a casual wristwatch.
The Samsung Watch Active 2 design
Like its modern forerunner, the Watch Active2 maintains its smooth appearance in both sizes. This continues with Samsung’s effort to cater to both women and men with designs that feel casual and comfortable all at once. Aluminum and stainless steel frames play a part in combining some elegance to the design.
The resolution is the same at 360 x 360, and Gorilla Glass DX+ aims to keep the glass uninjured and scratch-free. There are larger batteries, with the covering of 247mAh and 340mAh. Both have the same 5ATM waterproofing, allowing each watch for declining to 50-meter depths, both in fresh and saltwater.
The first Galaxy Watch Active detached the bezel to trim down its size, yet nevermore returned it with anything similar until the Watch Active2.
The touch-enabled bezel has a haptic review to come close to replicating the equivalent experience. It’s not completely the same, but it surely makes a big difference once you dive in and start going through the interface.
Touching this bezel is not the same as the physical one. That might appear reasonable on the face of it, but you notice it in use because the flow is hard to match. There is no way to adjust consciousness other than to find a pattern with your finger.
It was difficult for me to rely on the touch bezel uniquely, so I often mixed things up by swiping on the screen. It is hard for me to point when it was the most perfect for doing one or the other, and it all began to feel familiar after some weeks.
Samsung’s Tizen OS is clearly built to be convenient and accessible, though a few important changes came with this watch. Or at least the ones displayed have yet to come. Twitter, YouTube, and Google Translate were between the new apps delighted for the watch. During testing, I never noticed any of the three possible to download. There were third-party ones that were attached to those services, but nothing official. Commentators in the United States noted using them, but I couldn’t get those apps even when I switched regions on the paired phone.
All of this falls below a design that remains unchanged. iHeartRadio and Spotify remain the two primary music apps, with new Spotify features that make a significant distinction. You also get tonnes of watch faces to choose from, but the exercise features come in that perform this watch what it is.
Before, Spotify worked on Samsung watches as an addition to the phone app. This time, it is simple to download tunes and playlists to the watch directly so you can listen without using the phone with you.
The process was not incredibly challenging, as it needed opening the Spotify app than going to Settings>Playback>Standalone to begin it up for downloading. After copying over playlists, tapped Bluetooth Audio to pair with wireless headphones, and that was it.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has 4GB of storage, though only 2.5GB is space. Downloading song to the watch cuts into that, as do third-party apps, so you may not be capable of squeezing in an entire library in there.
What executes this watch compelling is that it does the basics you require well. It is a smartwatch first and exercise tracker second, but the line smudges here. It traces a range of exercises, with the option to edit which ones take influence. Automated tracking is among the best on any wearable I have examined to date. The way it reflects when stopping during a workout is only getting better.
By default, the watch limits you to understanding four exercises on the screen at once, which is why I suggest adding new widgets to add more at your fingertips. If you add others for calories, hurdles, and leaderboards, you are increasing the circle further.
Sleep and stress tracking comes into play with it. You have to manually put in how much water you drink and the food you eat. Samsung also says it added an ECG sensor approved in the USA, but not yet in Canada. Not that it means yet because it is still in beta, and I could not test it anyway. But if it does come in 2020, it brings an exciting feature to this watch as needed.
Bixby is the voice assistant. It is not offensive in the more ambitious scheme, but I have noticed that I get more platform when I keep things easy. Weather, reminders, alarms, starting workouts—it’s good at handling those.
It just grapples with everything else. Smart home control is partly stated in having compatible products, mostly from Samsung. It simply was not the same as, say, controlling smart home devices using Alexa on the Fitbit Versa 2, for instance.
Plus, various settings and adjustments are made possible through Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable and Bixby apps on the paired phone. The company makes an excellent effort to teach and educate the platform, so there is that.
With the iPhone
The Galaxy Watch Active2 works with Android phones and Samsung running version 5.0 or later with at least 1.5GB RAM. Apple iPhones run if they have at least iOS 9.0. For non-Samsung Android users, the watch offers more reliable, but you have to retake the trade-offs. If you use Google Assistant, there is no tie-in with the watch.
You would have to download Samsung’s suite of apps, like Galaxy Store, Galaxy Wearable, and Samsung Health, to get a fuller experience. Given the relative absence of Android-centric smartwatches, it may be having trouble.
Bigger batteries have the Galaxy Active2 going great than before with similar rules. Use it enough with limited exercise tracking, and you should stretch things out to two days. Once Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth go to work, and all the sensors that drop down considerably. No concern about the scenario; you will have to load the watch constantly.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is what the first one should have been from the start. While extremely iterative, it just frequently felt like what I wanted to see the first time around. It still fascinates all, and the replaceable band makes it suitable for any situation.
For Samsung users, this is the watch to go. It’s the seamless assimilation available, simple and plain. The choices are slim for Android users, so this watch checks off some necessary boxes. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is available in stainless steel, and aluminum finishes in silver, black, and gold pink.